Top 5 international destinations for South Africans

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 3 October 2018

This year Travelstart released data detailing the most in-demand international travel air routes for South Africans. The stats were gathered from several ACSA Airports including OR Tambo, Lanseria, Cape Town International, King Shaka and a few others. Data was based on an analysis of more than 800,000 individual trips booked on from the beginning of 2017.

The city of Harare. Image credit: Getty Images.

The famous Big Ben clock tower in London. Image credit: Mariana Martin

If you guessed that London is the number one destination, or that Australia features in the top 5, you’d be wrong. London, although still perenially popular, has slipped into second place and Harare, Zimbabwe has jumped to the top spot. Windhoek took the third spot followed by Mauritius and then New York.

This ranking may soon change – from 29 October 2018, British Airways will launch direct flights between Durban’s King Shaka Airport and Heathrow and Virgin Atlantic have added a second dilay flight from Johannesburg to London, which could most likely push it into first place again.

Top 5 International Destinations 2018

  1. Harare (Zimbabwe)
  2. London (UK)
  3. Windhoek (Namibia)
  4. Mauritius
  5. New York City (U.S.A.)

New York City (despite being a long-haul destination) moved into 5th postition for the first time in 2018 overtaking Dubai, which has Emirates operating daily flights directly from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

According to Travelstart’s data, routes that have been gaining traffic between 2014 and 2017 include flights to from Johannesburg to London by 88%. Windhoek and Harare also increased by 51% and 118% respectively.

During the same period, international flights from Cape Town to London increased by 62%. Travel to Windhoek and Namibia went up by 107% and to Walvis Bay, Namibia by 219%.

Durban’s King Shaka Airport has attracted more international carriers, outbound passenger numbers increased with Dubai (+273%) and London (+118%), showing the most growth between 2014 and 2017.

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